1787 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Lord Chesterfield

Elizabeth Montagu to her sister, 31 December 1787; Reginald Blunt, Mrs. Montagu, 1762-1800 (1923) 2:218.



You do me unmerited honour in suspecting me of the dialogue you mention between Johnson and Lord Chesterfield [by William Hayley]. They are well contrasted; the one endeavoured by pleasing manners to grace Vice, the other by his brutal insolent manners disgraced Virtue, and by his low superstition and bigotry even rendered piety less respected. It would puzzle one to determine whether he who placed the Syrens in the Temple of Vice, or he who put the Gorgons head at the entrance of the Temple of Virtue did most mischief.